The 2013 Year of Snake has just ushered with a cacophony of fireworks. With digital scene in Hong Kong spinning like the Chinese windmills and whirligigs, being displayed in temples across the territory, there is a lot speculation or prediction about what will happen in UX design this year.
New year, we set a new user centered design and emarketing task list for us to achieve:
Focus more on user friendly interface design on social mobile platform
Mobile Messenger WhatsApp and Wechat allowing users to exchange text,video messages via iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia without paying for SMS, demonstrate a strong growth last year. These messaging tools already made Hong Kong people more social in using mobile device.
During the Lunar New Year time, TG received new year greetings from mainland China colleagues, teammates, friends and relatives mostly from WhatsApp and Wechat. They are no longer using emails to send greetings although we can still see it happen in Facebook and Weibo. Some even believe that Weibo may lose already in face of Wecat’s challenge.
Want to see some figures to support our view? Let’s take a look what Forbes said
Made-in-Asia chat apps too are growing by leaps and bounds, particularly in the Asian region. Tencent’s WeChat app, for example, has doubled its users base in 6 months or so – from some 100 million users in March 2012 to 200 million in September 2012. In mid-January 2013, its total users has surpassed 300 million worldwide.
Today, the rise of smartphones and proliferation of mobile broadband have augmented instant messaging with mobility… WhatsApp users sent over 10 billion messages per day! …Even the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook, has re-positioned its Messenger app to ride the surging popularity wave of mobile chat.
That said, B2C companies or businesses need to divert more effort to ensure their mobile experience is more user friendly for online users, customers.
More Social mean more thought on content mapping
Users are now generating their own content via these chatting tools, Online conversation can be done on one-on-one or in groups. Naturally, a group of online group leaders will emerge, they will play a proactive role in spreading news, product information or services amongst their peer groups.
Trying to engage with these group leaders and get their eyeballs, offering them breaking news about your brand that is of interest to them would be emarketing people’s top priority.
Hong Kong E-marketers like us may want to get familiar with “Brand journalism” which appears in the format of blogging, podcasting and video.
Although I am not totally convinced by the term of brand journalism, I think it’s essential to help brand know not only how to tell a story of their brand but also create content that matters to their customers, providing their target audience with valuable information rather than sales pitches.
Mobile payments may be possible this year
Online transactions and payments are gettting more and more easy, convenient and popular through banking and financial institutions. Hong Kong people is now using internet banking or online payment gateways such as, paypal or Alipay for purchase of goods and services.
Along with Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand, Hong Kong is planning to have NFC-enabled phones for mobile payments. Tencent is speeding up her step to launch Tenpay, a payment gateway similar to eBay’s Paypal. Mr John Lin, eBay Vice President – Greater China, in his recent visit to Hong Kong, reiterated that eBay’s mobile device strategy was top of his task list as well.
With these in mind, we foresee there will be more usability work needed to be done on mobile payments.
Further integration of blogging and visual social media
We’ve all seen how business can make a huge difference by creating useful and relevant content to their target users. Blogging continues to be one of the major pillars for online business success.
What need to be absolute clear is how to draw targeted users to our site, hit our pre-set goals, and increase our conversion rate.
A year ago, online marketers spreaded words in Facebook, Weibo, Twitter leading users back to WordPress blogging platforms for better interaction and tracking through Google Analytics. Now we’ve seen another strong ties with 2 other visual social media.
Both Pinterest and Instagram are gaining popularity these days. Users are posting their photo images on these visual social media sites, delivering content that users want to see, posted back and forth in Facebook, thereby stimulating engaging marketing. We need to pursue further to see how to capitalize the growing usage of all these emerging visual social media.